Interior Decor

10 Balcony Design Tips

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A backyard isn’t the only way of having a private outdoor oasis. Find out how to turn a boring apartment balcony into a beautiful retreat with 10 balcony design tips.

Condo and apartment balconies often go unused. Even worse, they end up as an extra storage space for bikes and cluttered junk rather than being used as an outdoor living space. But with a little creative planning and a little elbow grease a balcony can be turned into a beautiful outdoor paradise.

10 Design Tips for Decorating a Balcony

  1. Gather some seating – A balcony can be seen as an extension of the living room. Adding a few key furniture pieces like rattan sets, sofas and chairs can make a balcony seem warm and inviting. It’s important to consider the size of the balcony before purchasing patio furniture. If the balcony is small, choose a couple chairs and a small table. Bistro sets are perfect. Target offers a number of affordable bistro sets. Add some design flair and color with patterned, weather-resistant cushions. For larger balconies a patio table and umbrella makes for the perfect getaway. With comfortable seating balconies can easily become a great place for entertaining guests.
  2. Add some greenery – A balcony is outdoors after all. Therefore it should look like the outdoors by bringing in some green. Plants are also the easiest way to decorate a dingy balcony. Planting pots work great for balconies because they are often design elements all on their own. If space on the ground is limited, then think hanging flower baskets and planter boxes on the balcony railings. These are perfect because they take up no actual space on the balcony itself and still add loads of color and greenery. Be sure to choose flowers that are appropriate to the amount of sun or shade that hits the balcony.
  3. Lay outdoor flooring – Bring part of the living room outdoors. Outdoor carpeting is a great way to define a space and to detract from the cement balcony floors. Outdoor carpets come in a variety of colors, are inexpensive and can be custom cut to fit any size. Carpeting can make the balcony feel more inviting and allow kick off your shoes and relax.
  4. Create mood lighting – If an electrical outlet is available on the balcony, stringing a set of party lights on the balcony railing is a great way of bringing light to the patio, allowing you to enjoy your balcony late into the evening. If an outlet is not available then candles also do the job effectively and inexpensively. Look for some decorative outdoor lanterns at your local garden center.
  5. Plant an herb garden – It may not be possible to grow an entire vegetable garden from an apartment balcony but a small herb garden is certainly not out of the question. Dedicate a corner of the apartment to some small, decorated pots containing favorite herbs. This not only adds color to the balcony but also provides an enjoyable hobby and some delicious herbs for gourmet cooking.
  6. Put up a privacy fence – If your balcony is not very private you might consider purchasing some privacy screening. Bamboo sheets can be purchased at your local garden or building center. They provide some well needed privacy and also work great in the overall design of an outdoor oasis. Even if you already have privacy walls, placing bamboo fencing against the existing brick or cement walls can completely transform the look of the balcony.
  7. Bring art outdoors – Art doesn’t have to stay in the living room, try bringing it outdoors as well. Look for weather-resistant, outdoor art pieces that can be hung on a balcony wall. There are a variety of metal and wooden wall art pieces that are meant for the outdoors and will add some style to the outdoor living space.
  8. Add outdoor sculptures – If hanging art on the balcony walls is not permitted then think of art pieces that are freestanding, such as garden statues and structures. Obviously choose pieces that fit the size of the balcony. These are great for adding personality to a balcony and can easily be swapped in and out to keep the space looking fresh. A self-contained water fountain is another idea. The sound of running water provides a soothing atmosphere.
  9. Hang some wind chimes – Wind chimes belong in any backyard or balcony. They are things of beauty, provide pleasing chimes, and also take up minimal space on a balcony. Bamboo wind chimes are quite popular as they produce a lower pitch and provide a more tropical feel to the balcony.
  10. Grill it up – If allowed, purchase a small barbecue for the balcony. A barbecue can easily become the centerpiece of the balcony. It allows the balcony to become a place of gathering and entertaining with friends and family.

With these tips it’s easy to turn any balcony into a beautiful, relaxing outdoor retreat. Just remember to check with the rules and regulations of the owners of the apartment building. For more balcony design decorating tips check out Style at Home’s design tips.